Tag Archives: artist

Pictures from the Opening

IRust_Ausstellung_O_sFinally I have time to share some pictures of the opening of my latest solo-exhibition. It opened to great many people on Sunday the 9th of December in Swakopmund on the premises of “The Last Resort Well/ness Centre” (Yes, that is how it is written for a good reason). I did not count, but the newspaper said there were at least 150 people for the opening. And I got so much wonderful comments and feedback! Wow! Thank you to everybody who came! And those of you who have missed the opening, you still have time to see the exhibition (without the pushing and shoving of so many people) every afternoon between 14h00 and 18h00, except Sundays, till the 29th of December. I am at the exhibition all the time, if you would like to meet me. I would sure love to hear your thoughts, meet old and new friends and share my art with you!









All photographs taken by Steffen Holzkamp. (Copyright)

The opening speech, with Clinton Lang from "The Last Resort Well/ness Centre" in the middle.

The opening speech, with Clinton Lang from “The Last Resort Well/ness Centre” in the middle.

Creative Time

In the last weeks I have painted and sketched, played and observed, dreamed and created, and steadily I have filled my mind with so many new images and my small studio with numerous new artworks. I feel so blessed to be able to follow my dreams. I feel grateful for having a space to create and for finally coming to a stage in my life where I can focus on my own art again and it is a wonderful experience. There is nothing as exciting and invigorating as being in the flow of creativity.

This is also the reason that I have not updated my blog as regularly as I have hoped to… I hope you understand and forgive me, especially when you see all the new artworks that I have created. Unfortunately I cannot share them before the exhibition in April 2012 – a real test in patience for me.

Well, it is almost Christmas and the end of the year. It has been a busy and productive and very creative year for me, with many big and small transformations. I look back with happiness and gratitude and would like to thank everybody who has helped me along the way, who has supported me, who has cared and who has read my blogs and posted comments. Your encouragement and interest means a lot to me and keeps me going.

If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you a merry and blessed festive time, free of the mad consumerism that has taken us and the event hostage. And for everybody else a happy and peaceful last few days of the year.

Here I have a special little creature to accompany you through the end-of-year madness.

Ink, marker & watercolour on paper, 29x 21cm (c) Imke Rust

Ink, marker & watercolour on paper, 29x 21cm (c) Imke Rust


In search of elves and fairies and green, green grass


Yellow Heart

Yellow Heart - Yellow flowers and moss on a rock

As a Namibian desert girl I recently had an interesting and exciting time in the very green and lush mountains of South Tyrol. All the dense vegetation was amazing, the little mountain creeks with their clear water fascinating and I especially fell in love with the soft moss growing everywhere. I was reminded of childhood stories of dwarfs, fairies and elves living in the forests and sleeping on beds of moss, carrying sweet forest berries as decoration and giggling under red and white mushrooms… as a child I did not know these things and wonderful places and my imagination ran wild. Now I walked through such magical forests in awe and wonder like a little child, eating some forest strawberries and making some art. I did not see any elves or red-capped dwarfs, but still I had lots of fun with the invisible spirits of nature and art.

Ok, I do not want to bore you with long stories, but rather just share some pictures of my small interventions in nature. So, here they are:

Location: Oberperflhof, approximately 1,500m above sea level, close to Katharinaberg / Monte Santa Caterina –  in the Schnalsvalley (Val Senales), Italy.

Date: July 2011

Yellow Heart

Yellow Heart (close) - Yellow flowers and moss on a rock


Green Sprial

8m garland woven of small cedar branches


Sprial on stone wall (8m garland woven of small cedar branches)

Sprial on stone wall (8m garland woven of small cedar branches)



Rock, branch & grass


Row of leaves

Light, leave tips and wood

Berlin Stages

line of leaves IRust

Lline of Leaves by Imke Rust, Bochum

Golden Leaves by Imke Rust

Golden Leaves by Imke Rust, Bochum

This week a handful of guests from all over Europe are discovering Berlin as part of a film workshop entitled “Berlin Stages” funded by the EU and organized by Frameworks e.V.. The invited guests have a chance to experience an artistic Berlin with a HD film camera, as they will be meeting and filming Berlin artists and are getting some hands-on opportunity to create their own art together with these artists. I am one of the artists that they will be visiting (tomorrow) and we will be doing land art in the Lankwitz Community Park (my current studio till I can move into a ‘real’ studio with a roof in middle of July hopefully). I am looking forward to an exciting and fun day in the park tomorrow and keeping my fingers crossed for good and dry weather. If you are in the area, come by and share in the fun!

The results of their workshop will be shown on Thursday, the 7th of July at 20h00 at the Holiday Inn City East. Everybody is cordially invited. Hope to see you there!

More info about the project can be found below (unfortunately only in German) or on www.frameworks-berlin.de

Mit „Berlin Stages“ ist dem Berliner Verein FRAMEWORKS e. V. gelungen, aus einem der begehrten EU-Fördertöpfe Geld zu werben, um Gäste zu einem Film-Workshop nach Berlin einzuladen. „Das bunte Programm und die Chance Berlin aus der künstlerischen Perspektive zu erleben hat die Teilnehmer von vorneherein beeindruckt“, weiß Thomas Nagel, 1. Vorsitzender von FRAMEWORKS e.V.. Der Verein hat sich die Themenschwerpunkte Kultur und Bildung auf die Fahne geschrieben, und so können die 14 Gäste aus Europa Anfang Juli filmend in die Kunstszene der Stadt eintauchen. Landart, Pulp-Painting, Tonstudio und Museumsbesuch stehen ebenso auf dem Programm wie Improtheater und Modenschau. „Das Projektmanagement von der Konzeption bis zur Durchführung eines solchen Workshops ist eine Klasse für sich“, lacht der 1. Vorsitzende. „Wir freuen uns mit unseren Gästen über die individuellen Erfolge und Entdeckungen“, so Nagel.

Am Donnerstag, den 7.Juli.11, zeigen die Teilnehmenden ab 20 Uhr im Foyer des Hotels Holiday Inn City East für einen Abend, was sie im Rahmen des fünftägigen Workshops in Begleitung von Berliner Künstlern und Kulturschaffenden erarbeitet haben. FRAMEWORKS e. V. und seine Gäste laden zum Austausch ein. Zu den Spielregeln von EU-finanzierten Grundtvig-Workshops gehört, dass die Teilnehmenden 18 Jahre oder älter sind und für den Workshop ihrer Wahl mindestens eine europäisches Grenze überwinden. Alle drei Jahre können Erwachsene unabhängig von ihren persönlichen Budgets so auf den Spuren des dänischen Erfinders der Volkshochschule Grundtvig reisen und im Austausch mit anderen Europäern ein Themengebiet ergründen. Die Reise-, Unterbringungs- und Workshopkosten werden voll finanziert. 2012 werden europaweit Workshops rund um den Erhalt von Gesundheit angeboten. Infos:www.frameworks-berlin.de

Für Rückfragen:  Workshop-Hotline: 030/67922763

Thomas Nagel, 1. Vorsitzender FRAMEWORKS e. V. (mobil: 0151/22832281)   Renate Nuppenau, 2. Vorsitzende FRAMEWORKS e. V. (mobil: 0177/8076693)

The shoes you wear… and how they are connected to my art

The shoes you wear… and how they are connected to my art

Many years ago, back in my early student years, I had this really fun idea. Some found it a bit morbid, while others gave me worried looks… but I am used to that.

For some reason, I cannot remember exactly why, I chose to use shoes as my subject matter. Shoes as packaging of the human foot…. and packaging which eventually shapes its’ contents. Not being the biggest fan of high heeled shoes, I developed the idea of the high heeled shoe eventually shaping the foot, very similar to the old Chinese tradition of keeping women’s feet small and childlike, through tortuous means. (Ok, now I remember the reason…)

So this is how I imagined your foot would look like if you would continuously wear the common high heel shoe:

Sketch of horse-shaped foot

Sketch of horse-shaped foot by Imke Rust (c)

Different stages as documented in my sketchbook, eventually turning into a kind of horse-like hoof. (Mind you, horses are very elegant, so maybe nothing wrong with women striving to have feet like them?)

I even worked the idea into a life-size clay-sculpture (one of my first objects done in clay) based on one of the imaginary middle stages of the deformed foot:

Clay Foot side view (IRust)Clay Foot front view (IRust)

And now the reason why I dug up these old sketches and the sculpture for you and why I am writing about it in my blog today: Recently I found this in the newspaper:

The Namibian 18March11

found in The Namibian 18 March 2011

I always like it, if I find that somebody’s thoughts, somewhere in the world, are similar to mine. Isn’t it amazing? And often with a tiny little envy I wonder why their thoughts make it to the newspapers, great art shows or into designer shops with huge price tags, and mine don’t….?

And I know the answer: because my sketches stay safely tucked away in my piles of sketch books, my sculptures are catching dust on my windowsill and my personal confidence still needs a lot of nudging and pampering and support before I can truly believe in myself and take my ideas and art work to the next level. And I also know: the idea was cool, but far away from resolved, my sketches were fun, but not great and my sculpture was a beginner’s object, which got damaged before it could ever be shown… fortunately I have come a long way since that horse foot idea.

Besides: the designer horse shoe idea is cool – but honestly: have you ever seen somebody walking around in those? Or are you secretly wishing you could afford such silly designer hooves yourself? Or know anybody who does? Naaah – me neither, but I know quite a few wonderful people, wearing comfy, good-looking shoes, who have my art on their walls or at least know somebody who does. And hey – you are reading my blog and not theirs! Da! ;o)

Thank you for your support of my art and ideas! And if you enjoyed this post or if you like my art or ideas, please subscribe to my blog and please recommend it to your friends. It would make my day!

Art in the Park (Berlin)

Gemeindepark 7June11

Summer has arrived in Berlin, with lovely warmth and sunshine. So it is the ideal time to get out and make some art outside. As i still do not have a studio, working outside is another great way of being creative.

There is a small community park just around the corner from where we live, so while the others played Badminton I kept myself busy with this…

For a change, not so much text and rather more pictures. Enjoy!

Untitled land art intervention by Imke Rust.

(Gemeindepark Lankwitz, Berlin, 7 June 2011)

And sometimes they tell me their names…

head in clouds

And sometimes they tell me their names…

There is something begging me

To give it a life.

A face.

A form.

Something it can relate to

So that it becomes part of our human world.

Again and again they urge me.


I know they need me.

I hear them calling, begging….

But often I am too busy with less important stuff.

Or too scared, doubting if I can do them justice,

Too scared of trusting the process….


But when I allow myself to follow their calling

Opening myself up to their wishes

Having enough faith to just get going

Having enough peace to listen to their soft voices

Speaking in no language known

Trusting what I do not understand

And following even the faintest notion,

Then they guide me softly, intensely

Telling me about the exact way

In which they would like to be made manifest.


I follow their instructions as best I can.

Sometimes we are finished after a few exciting moments

Sometimes they keep me waiting forever before each new step

Occasionally it seems so simple, so obvious

At other times it is a long struggle

But in the end we always agree.


Now they have a chance to meet you

Talk to you

If you care

To listen to their soft humming.


In a deep inner dialogue

I am standing in front of them.

Amazed and intrigued.

Grateful that I could help them to come to life in our reality

Giving them a shape to be recognized by

Or a line, a colour, a texture…

However much or little they need.


I am humbled to be their midwife.

Mystified actually.

Although they tell me many of their secrets

I still cannot grasp them,

Or fully understand their complexity…

Yet they are part of me.


They tell me all I need to know

and sometimes they tell me their names…


(c)Imke Rust

(Thoughts on how my artworks come into existence)

Suits Make Men


Portrait of a Dog



In his fearless quest to protect my brother and father on the farmstead, Bolle, the dog pictured above, has killed several snakes during his life. Unfortunately during his last fight with a vicious black mamba, he got bitten so badly, that unlike previous times, he did not survive the venom and died in September 2010. The loss of the dog was a very sad event for my brother, as he has raised Bolle from being a tiny puppy and the two were inseparable.

For my brother’s birthday this year, I have painted this portrait of Bolle from a photograph which I had taken some time ago. Through the artwork, at least the memory of this special dog can live on in a “physical” form.

Although I have painted many dogs, it was a personal challenge to paint the portrait of Bolle. This was not just any dog and it was meant as a gift to my brother – so it had to really look like him and hopefully also somehow catch his spirit and nature. I am happy, that somehow, while I painted, the trusted magic has happened once again and my brother was overjoyed with his gift. The painting was done on an aluminium printing sheet, which was used to print newspapers – that explains the text which shimmers through the background ;o)

My brother with his painting

My brother with his painting

Many people know me as “the artist who has painted the red dogs”, due to my firstpublic success with winning the Standard Bank Namibia Biennale with the “Bitumen Dogs” in 2001. I have often worked with images of dogs, usually as a metaphor for different human relationships, most notably for my “Power & Politics” series. I like painting and drawing dogs, they have interesting and versatile forms and shapes. And yes, I love dogs, but not more than other animals. And no, I do not have a dog myself. I am more a cat person. (Click on the links above if you like to view more dog artworks.)

Kiddo & Shiwoohamba exhibit in Berlin

Works by Paul Kiddo

Works by Paul Kiddo

Barely in Berlin and already I had the pleasure to view an exhibition by two Namibian artists, Paul Kiddo & Elia Shiwoohamba. On top of that, I could witness some of the positive results of the ‘shared experiences’ project, which I have co-founded four years ago and co-managed till the end of 2010.

Both artists have been on a two-month ‘shared experiences’ artist residency in Berlin in 2010, all expenses paid. During this time they got to know the exciting city of Berlin and its lively art scene, created new artworks and were able to make many valuable contacts. One such contact happened almost by chance when Paul Kiddo walked into a small gallery in Rigaer Str (Friedrichshein) and got talking to the owners, Lars & Ingolf Neumann. Later also Elia Shiwoohamba presented his works to the gallery. And now, only a few months after this meeting, the Grafik Studio Galerie is presenting the exhibition: Paul Kiddo & Elia Shiwoohamba – Grafik und Malerei aus Namibia (11May -13 June 2011)

The tastefully curated exhibition shows numerous works of both artists in their respective signature styles. Paul charms the audiences with his naïve realism oil-paintings of Namibian landscapes, Kolmann’s Kop buildings, wild animals and the tongue-in-cheek homestead sceneries, while Elia, who works mainly in cardboard prints and lino cuts, uses people and Namibian animals as his subject matter, with many interesting renderings of owls.  The works are for sale at very reasonable prices (between 35€ and 420€).

If you are in Berlin anytime before the 13th of June, do plan in a visit to this exhibition. The gallery can easily be reached with the public transport system, situated only a short walking distance from the Frankfurter Alee S-Bahn Station.

What great achievement for these two artists! I hope you make it even more worthwhile by supporting them with your visit and hopefully by buying one (or more) of their works! Also a warm Namibian “Thank you” to Mr Neumann of the Grafik Studio Galerie, who made this exhibition possible and for promoting Namibian art in Berlin.

Still Weeping – Four Years Later

Weeping Women in 2007

Shortly after completion 2007 – still standing tall

Transformation, change and a tribute to an old myth were the central topics of my land-art installation “Weeping Women” (2007). Based on the San myth about the origin of the huge salt pans at the famous Etosha National Park in Namibia, the artwork consisted of seven tall figures made out of rock-salt. The figures, representing the women who have cried so much for their murdered men and children, that their tears collected into a huge salt-lake, which eventually dried out, were intended to symbolically cry every time it rains. The pure raindrops would mix with the salt and create a natural tear solution, while at the same time also wear away the figures. The “Weeping Women” were meant to cry for all the sadness of the world and slowly wash away. Once they are gone, I hope, enough tears have flown and the world will be a better place.

By recreating the myth through my artwork, I hoped to raise the awareness about the myth, the violence we inflict on our fellow human beings and the pain and sadness of this world in general.  But I also hope to offer a solution: although we need to be aware of the history, we should not get stuck in it with blaming and revenge, as this continues the vicious cycle. And just like the Christian myth of Lot’s wife, who could not let go of her past, we will turn into rigid, dry and bitter salt-pillars, unable to move forward. Through acknowledging our pain and emotions and releasing them through the salty tears we cry (and not through calls for or acts of revenge), we can mourn and heal.

The “Weeping Women” have now mourned  for four rainy seasons, most of which were unusually heavy rains, with record rains recorded in Namibia during the past four months…. Maybe the world needs to cry a lot in our current times? Most of the “Weeping Women” have “done their duty” and have transformed, cried away and returned to the soil. One is still standing about 50cm high, hopefully crying her last tears during the next rainy season, after which the artwork will have disappeared and with it, hopefully also the need for further tears. I know, I am an eternal optimist and idealist…., that’s just me, but maybe I am not alone?

Still Weeping 17April 2011

The last “woman” standing (17 April 2011)

To see more pictures of this work and its transformation, please click here.